Leaving a white Aomori in March and returning to a brown one (with bursts of green) in April was very odd. It feels like a new place, my eyes can’t get over all the things and people to look at, bits of buildings, roads, gardens, pathways, trees, cars, a tennis court, the river and its bridges, ponds, puddles and flower pots. I wonder did I even have my eyes open at all last summer. So they are not the most exciting things I’m re-seeing but it’s the fact I can see them that is very excited. The metres and metres of snow has vanished and the world beneath it is really very intriguing to behold. The weather is evil its warm and cold, the rain is light and heavy and even a little bit slushy. But even with the mean weather there are signs of spring everywhere, the change of food in the shops ….STRAWBERRIES, the green bursting from the ground (even just the sight of the ground is impressive), the people on the streets and of course their bikes, they and their bikes, they are back. Pretty much anybody and everybody cycles here in Japan. I’ve been home to Ireland twice since I got here last July and I keep promising I’ll cycle places instead of drive but it just doesn’t have the same pull. It seems Japan and its bikes have a greater friendship. I love my bike.
The bike cover in school was completely hidden with snow for the whole winter and the joy of seeing it jam packed with wheels on my first day back brought a great smile to my face. There must be only a hand full of students that don’t cycle at least some of their journey to school everyday. Some kids actually keep their bikes at the train station close to the school for the whole spring/ summer/ autumn and use it to travel from the station to school. If it rains no problem, you were given two hands, so use em both, one to steer and one for your brolly.